A delightful bedtime book that encourages both imaginative play and restorative rest.

TOUCH THE BRIGHTEST STAR

A nocturnal companion to Matheson’s Tap the Magic Tree (2013), this interactive picture book illuminates nighttime's wonders while shepherding readers toward sleep. 

Dusk falls in waves of pink, blue and purple watercolor; lightning bugs glow, stars twinkle and fall, deer skedaddle, constellations shine—all with the touch of young readers’ fingers. Rhymes offer clear instructions: “Now let’s blow a quiet breeze. // Pat the deer / and say goodnight, please.” An implicit sense of power (and even a hint of magic) follows each page turn, imbuing these soft, simple collages with a quavering excitement. With a whisper, the moon appears in the (now) very dark sky—a signal that it’s getting to be time for owls to go to bed and probably past time for little readers. A soothing, somnolent narrative voice nudges, “Close your eyes and breathe in deeply. / Nod your head if you feel sleepy.” Caregivers will surely appreciate the suggestion, as well as the gentle lesson in preparing for and accepting sleep. More learning lies on the final page, which delivers a glossary that offers rich information about the nighttime occurrences, animals and plants featured earlier.

A delightful bedtime book that encourages both imaginative play and restorative rest. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-227447-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences.

LOLA PLANTS A GARDEN

From the Lola & Leo series

Hoping to have a garden like the one in her poetry book, Lola plants seeds, waits and weeds, and finally celebrates with friends.

The author and illustrator of Lola Loves Stories (2010) and its companion titles take their appealing character outside. Inspired by her favorite poem, the nursery rhyme “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary” (repeated on the front endpapers), Lola chooses her favorite flowers from library books. Helped by her parents, she grows a grandly diverse flower garden, just right for a celebration with peas and strawberries from the family plot. Beardshaw’s acrylic illustrations show her garden in all its stages. They also show the copper-toned preschooler reading on her mother’s lap, making a flower book, a beaded string with bells and shells, a little Mary Mary doll and cupcakes for the celebration. Her bunchy ponytails are redone, and her flower shirt is perfect for the party. Not only has she provided the setting; she makes up a story for her friends. The simple sentences of the text and charming pictures make this a good choice for reading aloud or early reading alone. On the rear endpapers, the nursery rhyme has been adapted to celebrate “Lola, Lola, Extraordinary.”

It’s gratifying to see Lola’s love of books leading her to new experiences. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-58089-694-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engaging story arguing for the marriage of technology with creativity and play.

DOLL-E 1.0

A young girl receives a puzzling gift.

Young Charlotte has always been the most tech-savvy member of her family, helping her mother with a tablet and her father with the smart TV. After Charlotte’s parents observe a news report cautioning against letting kids get “too techy,” the couple presents Charlotte with a doll. The doll doesn’t move or think—it simply sits and utters the word “Ma-ma.” Charlotte reasons that for a doll to talk it must have a power supply, and with a few modifications and a little imagination, Charlotte’s doll becomes Doll-E 1.0. The STEM-friendly narrative is brought to life with charming pencil-and-watercolor illustrations, edited in Photoshop. The scratchy lines are reminiscent of the pictures children like Charlotte sketch at their drawing boards, and the dynamic compositions burst with energy. Charlotte is an engaging character, expressive and thoughtful in equal measure. Charlotte’s doll is adorably rendered, looking mostly like any other common doll but just unique enough that little ones may want one of their own. Charlotte and her family present white; little dog Bluetooth is a scruffy, white terrier.

An engaging story arguing for the marriage of technology with creativity and play. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-51031-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more